The first forum, taped February 8, is now online. Joining us for the discussion were City Attorney Karen Kennard, City Auditor Ken Mory, Deputy CFO Ed Van Eenoo, and recently retired Assistant Director of Planning and Development Garner Stoll. It was moderated by Joy Diaz of KUT News. You can see part two of this discussion here.
Our next forum will take place this Saturday, February 22, from 10am to noon and will focus on how citizens can better communicate with their city government. Nelson Linder, President of Austin’s NAACP chapter, Gonzalo Barrientos, Chair of the Charter Revision Committee, Susan Morrison, League of Women Voters, as well as a number of city board and commission members will participate in the discussion.
Why Bother? Austin City Government 101 is a general overview and education on the functions of Austin’s city government in order to increase civic engagement, with an emphasis on the challenges and opportunities the new 10-1 form of governance will bring. It is part of our Why Bother? initiative, an effort with the Annette Strauss Institute and KUT 90.5. It is aimed at increasing civic engagement in Austin through voter education. Watch the other programs in the Why Bother? series on klru.org
This week on Overheard with Evan Smith, Mark Leibovich discusses his new tell-all book about Washington, This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in American’s Gilded Capital.
In the video clip above, Leibovich explains his view of “official” Washington, D.C. and how it has transformed over the years to become “this town.” He blames the changes on incidents like 9/11 and the pop culture Clinton Era . Leibovich says the culture from the Clinton era gave way to the rise of the “celebrity operative,” which meant “people [came] to Washington who grew up idolizing Josh Lyman not Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy or Barack Obama.”
Leibovich admits that he wrote This Town as a Washington insider and says he’s well aware of the uneasiness the book has caused. He explains the book ”seemed to ingest some discomfort into the system and…if any city needs to be more uncomfortable right now it’s Washington,” Leibovich said.
Leibovich also reflects on working at the Washington Post as well as his current work on The New York Times. He addresses the changing journalism industry, including the impact social media has had on news and journalism careers.
Tune in December 5 at 7 p.m. to see Mark Leibovich on Overheard with Evan Smith.
On this episode of Overheard, Jonathan Lethem discusses his writing process. Lethem is an award winning, best-selling novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His most recent novel, released in September, is Dissident Gardens.
Jonathan Lethem explains how he drew from his real life in order to create the setting and characters for his most recent novel. He explains how his grandmother and mother inspired the way his characters act and think. His characters in Dissident Gardens, he explains,”are passionate believers that they are on some kind of committed course the change the world.”
He also discuss modern publishing, how technology is changing publishing and the new idea of marketing yourself. Plus, he tells Evan what’s next in his career.
Tune in November 21 at 7 p.m. to see Jonathan Lethem on Overheard with Evan Smith. Watch the video above for an excerpt from our interview.
In this episode of Overheard with Evan Smith Jonathan Alter discusses his new book The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies. Alter previously worked for Newsweek for close to three decades. He’s written three New York Times best sellers on American presidents.
Alter tells Evan how he must get inside of the minds of leaders in order to write. He also touches on the Obama “haters” who took part in the so-called Birther Movement as well as the haters of former presidents. Alter explains how Obama is often criticized for not accomplishing what he said he would.
But, not all of his comments about the president are negative. He also explains the legacy Obama will leave behind with healthcare. He says while many people are unhappy with it now in 2016 it will be something celebrated by future candidates. Alter explains, although people were scared of what the healthcare reform would do that “America is not Texas and is not going to be Texas anytime soon,” citing the state’s decision not to implement parts of the law.
Alter gives insight to the government shutdown. He explains the “effort by the Tea party, essentially, to put a gun to the head of the government and of the global economy” which he notes was “utterly defeated.” He explains that the party failed and Ted Cruz himself had to acknowledge he was “defeated.”
Tune in tonight at 7 p.m. to see Jonathan Atler on Overheard with Evan Smith. You can see a preview in the video above.
Eugene Robinson is a Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist. He writes for The Washington Post and appears as a panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press. His 2008 coverage of the election of the first African American president earned him the Pulitzer.
In this episode, Robinson give us his take on the “broken government” and how the United States should focus on moving forward with the economy. Robinson also explains how the Tea Party has influenced the government.
The subject of race comes up as Robinson address Obama and how the race factor affects the people’s view of him. He explains that race plays an important part of how the Obama administration and it’s decisions are viewed. He also contrasts how different racial issues are currently compared to when he was growing up.
Robinson gives insight to government issues and compares them to the issues of past administrations, including the Clinton era. He explains how President Obama can look back on what mistakes he has made and how the president has transformed while in office.
Evan and Robinson also discuss his career at The Washington Post and his reaction to Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the paper. He shares his hopes for how technology can transform newsrooms.
Don’t miss this informative and timely episode of Overheard airing November 7th at 7:00 p.m. on KLRU.
Open enrollment in the nation’s new health insurance Marketplace started two weeks ago, and many are still confused by what is offered, who is covered and how they can sign up. Civic Summit: Healthcare Reform & You is aimed at clearing up some of that confusion. Watch Thursday night at 9pm on KLRU for an in depth discussion about the law with our panel of experts. Panelists will answer viewer questions and explain some of the misconceptions about how the law is being implemented in Texas.
Our discussion is moderated by Dr. James Rohack, Chief Health Policy Officer at Baylor Scott & White Health. Our panel is comprised of Anne Dunkelberg, Associate Director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Tom Banning, Executive Director of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, which is the state’s largest medical specialty organization, with close to 6-thousand member doctors, and Mimi Garcia, Texas State director for Enroll America, a non-partisan, non-profit group which has been working to educate and enroll uninsured Americans.
Civic Summit: Healthcare Reform & You airs Thursday, October 17 at 9pm on KLRU.
This week on Overheard, Evan Smith sits down with President Joyce Banda of Malawi. Joyce Banda is the fourth President of Malawi and the first woman to hold the office. She previously served as Vice President as well as the Minter of Foreign Affairs.
In this episode, Banda gives insight to what her childhood was like, from growing up in a tribe to attending school when others could not. Full of passion, Banda explains the experience that lead her to fight for women’s rights and how it shaped her mission to keep children in school.
President Banda explains in detail how she is transforming the country’s traditional tribal views of her childhood. She also explores her ideas to tackle Malawi’s population growth and the country’s issues with HIV/AIDS.
In a very candid portion of the interview, Evan and the Malawi president discuss the relationship between the United States and Malawi. Banda explains her country’s views on Western aid to Africa as well ways to improve relations between the U.S. and Malawi.
Make sure to catch this unique episode of Overheard with Evan Smith tonight (10/3) at 7:00 pm on KLRU. The show also airs Sunday (10/6) at 12:30 pm.
Last week was an historic week in Texas: an 11-hour filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis drew national attention, and two Supreme Court cases with deep ties to Texas were decided. In light of the recent news, KLRU aired a special thirty minute news and analysis program Friday evening called The Texas Rundown. The program was aired statewide, in cooperation with Texas PBS.
Joining us for analysis was Alana Rocha, multimedia reporter, The Texas Tribune. She moderated a discussion with Ben Philpott, host KUT’s Agenda Texas, Dave Mann, editor The Texas Observer, Becca Aaronson, health reporter The Texas Tribune, and Erica Greider, senior editor Texas Monthly.
As part of PBS’s After Newtown initiative, we asked our viewers how KLRU should respond to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. An overwhelming number of you wanted us to focus on access to mental health care. KLRU will also feature this video during Need To Know on Feb. 22.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is dedicated to education, early detection and advocacy for people who suffer from mental illness. According to the group’s numbers, “one in 10 children struggles with mental illness severe enough to cause significant impairment to their day-to-day lives,” and only half of those children receive treatment. NAMI aims to diagnose these cases early, by working with teachers and parents to teach them how to identify and deal with symptoms.
NAMI Austin President Adrienne Kennedy joined us in studio for a conversation about what her organization does, and what sorts of resources are available to people living in Central Texas.
NAMI is hosting a Capitol Day on February 28 at the Texas State Capitol. Lawmakers will speak, lunch will be served, and an afternoon rally will take place on the South Steps. You can find more information about Capitol Day on their website namiaustin.org.